May 2012

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
New Materials May Cut Energy Costs for Carbon Capture

A study of over four million absorbent minerals has determined that industrial minerals called zeolites could help electricity producers slash as much as 30 percent of the parasitic energy costs associated with removing carbon dioxide from power plant emissions. The research was done by...

Speed Sells

In my last blog entry, I told you about a unique promotional campaign Littelfuse initiated this year called “Speed2Design” that gives working engineers like you the chance to win the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not just attend one of four IndyCar races, but to go behind the scenes into the pits and garage area, meet the...

Question of the Week
Are you hopeful about NASA's new ventures with private companies?

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) made history last week when its Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial vehicle in history to successfully attach to the International Space Station. Although the spacecraft was unmanned, the capsule held about 1,000 pounds of...

Question of the Week
Would you want a computer that can be controlled with hand motions?

A host of companies, including Microsoft, have been working to create a new way of interacting with computers: motion sensing technology. With everyday movements like drawing, waving, and rotating, users can control functions on their computers. Many are entering the...

PCI Express Packet Processor

GE (Charlottesville, VA) recently announced the WANic(TM) 66512 PCI Express(R) Packet Processor. Designed for ease of development and deployment – resulting in reduced risk, faster time-to-market and faster time-to-revenue – and supported by GE’s expertise and experience in fulfilling the requirements of Tier 1...

Tiny Embedded Device Server

Lantronix (Irvine, CA) recently introduced its xPico(TM) device server, which it claims is the world’s smallest embedded device server. xPico can be used in designs typically intended for chip solutions. However, with the xPico module there is no need for software development, which results in a much lower...

Mini PC Inc. (Stealth Computer) (San Jose, CA) recently released their LPC-680 LittlePC, which measures just 6.5" x 6" and less than 2" in height. Featuring the 2nd Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 Mobile Processor Family, the LPC-680 supports up to 8GB in DDR3 memory and has a built-in 2.5” mobile hard drive with up to 750GBs of...

Ventilated 19" Rack Cases

METCASE (Bridgeville, PA) has launched ventilated versions of its all new COMBIMET 19” rack case series. These new rack cases are designed to assist in-rack thermal management by allowing unrestricted airflow through the enclosures. To achieve this, a matrix of specially designed ventilation slots is provided in the...

Question of the Week
Will these types of "private space station" boost space tourism?

Rather than participate in fly-by suborbital flights, which are being offered by companies like Virgin Galactic, SpaceX Corp. has teamed up with Bigelow Aerospace to offer an experience in a microgravity living environment. The plan, laid out in a jointly issued news release, calls...

News : Energy
Generating Electricity From Viruses?

Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity. Their generator is the first to produce electricity by harnessing the piezoelectric properties of a biological material.

News : Energy
Sensor System Spurs Biofuel Production

University of California, Berkeley researchers have developed a genetic sensor that enables bacteria to adjust their gene expression in response to varying levels of key intermediates for making biodiesel. As a result, the microbes produced three times as much fuel. The sensor-regulator system could...

Question of the Week
Will these holographic tools, and similar technologies, catch on?

This week's INSIDER story demonstrated a Star Trek-like, human-scale 3D videoconferencing pod  that allows people in different locations to video conference as if they are standing in front of each other.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Technology Awarded for Improving Submarine Air Quality

Creators of a nanotech-based system that captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere within a submarine while providing a more environmentally friendly removal process have won the Federal Laboratory Consortium Interagency Partnership Award for 2012. The technology — Self Assembled...

News : Materials
Copper-Gold Nanoparticles Efficiently Convert Carbon Dioxide

Copper is one of the few metals that can turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels with relatively little energy, but it is temperamental and easily oxidized. MIT researchers have engineered nanoparticles of copper mixed with gold - which is resistant to corrosion and oxidation -...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Air Gaging for Non-Contact Measurement of Complex Geometric Tolerances

Air gaging relies on a law of physics that states flow and pressure are directly proportionate to clearance and react inversely to each other. As clearance increases, airflow also increases and air pressure decreases proportionately. As clearance decreases, airflow also...

Briefs : Information Technology
Absolute Position of Targets Measured Through a Chamber Window Using Lidar Metrology Systems

Lidar is a useful tool for taking metrology measurements without the need for physical contact with the parts under test. Lidar instruments are aimed at a target using azimuth and elevation stages, then focus a beam of coherent, frequency modulated laser...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
An Inefficient Fin Non-Dimensional Parameter to Measure Gas Temperatures Efficiently

A gas containment vessel that is not in thermal equilibrium with the bulk gas can affect its temperature measurement. The physical nature of many gas dynamics experiments often makes the accurate measurement of temperature a challenge. The environment itself...

Briefs : Software
Software to Control and Monitor Gas Streams

This software package interfaces with various gas stream devices such as pressure transducers, flow meters, flow controllers, valves, and analyzers such as a mass spectrometer. The software provides excellent user interfacing with various windows that provide time-domain graphs, valve state buttons,...

Briefs : Information Technology
Anomaly Detection in Test Equipment via Sliding Mode Observers

Nonlinear observers were originally developed based on the ideas of variable structure control, and for the purpose of detecting disturbances in complex systems. In this anomaly detection application, these observers were designed for estimating the distributed state of fluid flow in...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Miniaturized Laser Heterodyne Radiometer (LHR) for Measurements of Greenhouse Gases in the Atmospheric Column

This passive laser heterodyne radiometer (LHR) instrument simultaneously measures multiple trace gases in the atmospheric column including carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), and resolves their concentrations at different altitudes....

Briefs : Electronics & Computers
Fast and Adaptive Lossless Onboard Hyperspectral Data Compression System

Modern hyperspectral imaging systems are able to acquire far more data than can be downlinked from a spacecraft. Onboard data compression helps to alleviate this problem, but requires a system capable of power efficiency and high throughput. Software solutions have limited...

Briefs : Software
Histogrammatic Method for Determining Relative Abundance of Input Gas Pulse

To satisfy the Major Constituents Analysis (MCA) requirements for the Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor (VCAM), this software analyzes the relative abundance ratios for N2, O2, Ar, and CO2 as a function of time and constructs their...

Briefs : Software
Predictive Sea State Estimation for Automated Ride Control and Handling — PSSEARCH

PSSEARCH provides predictive sea state estimation, coupled with closedloop feedback control for automated ride control. It enables a manned or unmanned watercraft to determine the 3D map and sea state conditions in its vicinity in real time. Adaptive...

Briefs : Software
LEGION: Lightweight Expandable Group of Independently Operating Nodes

LEGION is a lightweight C-language software library that enables distributed asynchronous data processing with a loosely coupled set of compute nodes. Loosely coupled means that a node can offer itself in service to a larger task at any time and can withdraw itself from...

Briefs : Software
Real-Time Projection to Verify Plan Success During Execution

The Mission Data System provides a framework for modeling complex systems in terms of system behaviors and goals that express intent. Complex activity plans can be represented as goal networks that express the coordination of goals on different state variables of the system. Real-time...

Briefs : Software
Automated Performance Characterization of DSN System Frequency Stability Using Spacecraft Tracking Data

This software provides an automated capability to measure and qualify the frequency stability performance of the Deep Space Network (DSN) ground system, using daily spacecraft tracking data. The results help to verify if the DSN performance is...

Briefs : Software
Web-Based Customizable Viewer for Mars Network Overflight Opportunities

This software displays a full summary of information regarding the overflight opportunities between any set of lander and orbiter pairs that the user has access to view. The information display can be customized, allowing the user to choose which fields to view/hide and...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Graphene Transparent Conductive Electrodes for Next- Generation Microshutter Arrays

Graphene is a single atomic layer of graphite. It is optically transparent and has high electron mobility, and thus has great potential to make transparent conductive electrodes. This invention contributes towards the development of graphene transparent...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of a Cryogenic Terahertz Emitter for Bolometer Focal Plane Calibrations

A fabrication process is reported for prototype emitters of THz radiation, which operate cryogenically, and should provide a fast, stable blackbody source suitable for characterization of THz devices. The fabrication has been demonstrated and, at the time of this...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Fabrication of an Absorber-Coupled MKID Detector

Absorber-coupled microwave kinetic inductance detector (MKID) arrays were developed for submillimeter and farinfrared astronomy. These sensors comprise arrays of lambda/2 stepped microwave impedance resonators patterned on a 1.5-mm-thick silicon membrane, which is optimized for optical coupling....

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Long-Life, Lightweight, Multi-Roller Traction Drives for Planetary Vehicle Surface Exploration

NASA’s initiative for Lunar and Martian exploration will require long lived, robust drive systems for manned vehicles that must operate in hostile environments. The operation of these mechanical drives will pose a problem because of the existing...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Wavefront Compensation Segmented Mirror Sensing and Control

The primary mirror of very large submillimeter-wave telescopes will necessarily be segmented into many separate mirror panels. These panels must be continuously co-phased to keep the telescope wavefront error less than a small fraction of a wavelength, to ten microns RMS (root mean...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Free-Mass and Interface Configurations of Hammering Mechanisms

A series of free-mass designs for the ultrasonic/sonic driller/corer (USDC) has been developed to maximize the transfer of energy from the piezoelectric transducer through the horn to the bit, as well as to minimize potential jamming. A systematic development was made producing novel...

Briefs : Materials
Advanced Bonding Methods Incorporating Epoxy Resin Technology

Over the past 30 years, significant technology gains in polymer engineering have greatly expanded the applications suited to adhesive bonding with epoxy resins. Advanced bonding methods that incorporate epoxy resin technology are among the most reliable and cost-effective fastening...

Briefs : Materials
Electrochemical Ultracapacitors Using Graphitic Nanostacks

Electrochemical ultracapacitors (ECs) have been developed using graphitic nanostacks as the electrode material. The advantages of this technology will be the reduction of device size due to superior power densities and relative powers compared to traditional activated carbon electrodes....

Briefs : Medical
Monitoring Location and Angular Orientation of a Pill

A mobile pill transmitter system moves through, or adjacent to, one or more organs in an animal or human body, while transmitting signals from its present location and/or present angular orientation. The system also provides signals from which the present roll angle of the pill, about a...

Briefs : Medical
Molecular Technique to Reduce PCR Bias for Deeper Understanding of Microbial Diversity

Current planetary protection policies require that spacecraft targeted to sensitive solar system bodies be assembled and readied for launch in controlled cleanroom environments. A better understanding of the distribution and frequency at which high-risk...

Briefs : Medical
Improved Whole-Blood-Staining Device

Dramatic improvements have been made in NASA’s Whole Blood Staining Device (WBSD) since it was last described in “Whole-Blood- Staining Device,” NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 23, No. 10 (October 1999), page 64. The new system has a longer shelf life, a simpler and more effective operational procedure, improved...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
PRTs and Their Bonding for Long-Duration, Extreme- Temperature Environments

Research was conducted on the qualification of Honeywell platinum resistance thermometer (PRT) bonding for use in the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). This is the first time these sensors will be used for Mars-related projects. Different types of PRTs were employed for the...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
3D Display Using Conjugated Multiband Bandpass Filters

Stereoscopic display techniques are based on the principle of displaying two views, with a slightly different perspective, in such a way that the left eye views only by the left eye, and the right eye views only by the right eye. However, one of the major challenges in optical devices is...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Real-Time, Non-Intrusive Detection of Liquid Nitrogen in Liquid Oxygen at High Pressure and High Flow

An integrated fiber-optic Raman sensor has been designed for real-time, nonintrusive detection of liquid nitrogen in liquid oxygen (LOX) at high pressures and high flow rates in order to monitor the quality of LOX used during rocket engine...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
High-Altitude MMIC Sounding Radiometer for the Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Microwave imaging radiometers operating in the 50–183 GHz range for retrieving atmospheric temperature and water vapor profiles from airborne platforms have been limited in the spatial scales of atmospheric structures that are resolved not because of antenna...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Laser Ablation Electrodynamic Ion Funnel for 'In Situ' Mass Spectrometry on Mars

A front-end instrument, the laser ablation ion funnel, was developed, which would ionize rock and soil samples in the ambient Martian atmosphere, and efficiently transport the product ions into a mass spectrometer for in situ analysis.

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Mid- and Long-IR Broadband Quantum Well Photodetector

A single-stack broadband quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP) has been developed that consists of stacked layers of GaAs/AlGaAs quantum wells with absorption peaks centered at various wavelengths spanning across the 9-to-11-μm spectral regions. The correct design of broadband QWIPs was...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Dual-Compartment Inflatable Suitlock

A paper discusses a dual-compartment inflatable suitlock (DCIS) for Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA) that will allow for dust control, suit maintenance, and efficient EVA egress/ingress. The expandable (inflatable technologies) aspect of the design will allow the unit to stow in a compact package for...

Briefs : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Techniques for Solution-Assisted Optical Contacting

A document discusses a “solutionassisted contacting” technique for optical contacting. An optic of surface flatness Lambda/20 was successfully contacted with one of “moderate” surface quality, or Lambda/4. Optics used were both ultra-low expansion (ULE) glass (Lambda/4 and Lambda/20)...

Briefs : Materials
Large-Strain Transparent Magnetoactive Polymer Nanocomposites

A document discusses polymer nanocomposite superparamagnetic actuators that were prepared by the addition of organically modified superparamagnetic nanoparticles to the polymer matrix. The nanocomposite films exhibited large deformations under a magnetostatic field with a low loading...

Briefs : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Thermodynamic Vent System for an On-Orbit Cryogenic Reaction Control Engine

A report discusses a cryogenic reaction control system (RCS) that integrates a Joule-Thompson (JT) device (expansion valve) and thermodynamic vent system (TVS) with a cryogenic distribution system to allow fine control of the propellant quality (subcooled liquid) during...

Briefs : Information Technology
Time Distribution Using SpaceWire in the SCaN Testbed on ISS

A paper describes an approach for timekeeping and time transfer among the devices on the CoNNeCT project’s SCaN Testbed. It also describes how the clocks may be synchronized with an external time reference; e.g., time tags from the International Space Station (ISS) or RF signals...

Application Briefs : Motion Control
Pressure Controllers Used in Sounding Rocket Payload Attitude Control Systems

Pressure controllers from Alicat Scientific have been selected for use in NASA sounding rockets to control payload attitude. The payload sections of some NASA sounding rockets are required to achieve pointing accuracies of finer than 1 arc second (1/3600 of a degree)....

Application Briefs : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Curiosity Rover Uses CCD Sensors to Navigate Surface of Mars

Currently cruising through space at more than 10,000 mph, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is scheduled to touch down on the red planet in August. The Mars Science Laboratory was launched on November 26, 2011, and is part of NASA’s long-term effort of robotic exploration of...

NASA Tech Needs
Dust Mitigation Connectors for Electrical Cables and Fluid Lines

Faults in wiring systems are a serious concern for the aerospace and aeronautic (commercial, military, and civil) industries. Circuit failures and vehicle accidents have occurred and have been attributed to faulty wiring created by open and/or short circuits. Often, such circuit...

Techs for License
Indoor Positioning System Utilizes Wireless LAN Network

A positioning system utilizes ZigBee™, a wireless sensor network on the 2.4-GHz ISM band. The technology applies stochastic reasoning in analyzing the ID and received signal strength indication (RSSI) of received wireless signals. Due to multipath interference, the position of people or...

Techs for License
Square Piston Engine Reduces Emissions

The Square Piston Engine (SPEC), a two-stroke engine with a square piston, has an improved power-to-weight ratio compared to existing engines. The engine features the same three moving parts as a conventional two-stroke engine: crank, gudgeon, and piston. The delayed opening of the exhaust port on the power...

NASA Tech Needs
Materials that Form Mesh-Based Sheets

Materials exist that provide optical clarity, but the fabricmaking process drives the costs too high. A company seeks cost-effective materials and technologies that will form meshbased sheets exhibiting high optical clarity and low haze. The resulting sheet/film/fabric will also be evaluated based on cost...

NASA Tech Needs
Packaging Defect Detection

Consumers desire dent-free packages and properly affixed labels on 3D rigid packaging. A client seeks an automated system that will check the quality of these labels, and will detect, measure, and record critical information. The detection procedure will inform changes in processes, materials, or equipment to reduce or...

Product of the Month: SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 3D Direct Modeling Software

SpaceClaim, Concord, MA, has released SpaceClaim Engineer 2012 3D direct modeling software with new capabilities in reverse engineering, model preparation for simulation, manufacturing, and data reuse. A SketchUp conversion feature detects regions where SketchUp’s...

Articles : Electronics & Computers
Battery Options for Uninterruptible Power Supplies

The lead-acid battery was invented by the French physicist Gaston Planté in 1859, and is one of the oldest rechargeable battery technologies. For over 150 years, it has been the mainstay when a high-energy-capacity battery was required, and represents 70% of the secondary (rechargeable)...

Articles : Photonics/Optics
Fiber Optic Oxygen Sensors — How Do They Work?

Fiber optic oxygen sensors use the fluorescence of a chemical complex in a sol-gel to measure the partial pressure of oxygen. The pulsed blue LED sends light, at ~475 nm, to an optical fiber. The optical fiber carries the light to the probe. The distal end of the probe tip consists of a thin layer...

Application Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Has the Ultimate Camera Interface Finally Arrived?

In the early days of machine vision, like with all new technology, there was a lot of confusion as to what constituted a video interface between camera and computer. It was known that a camera and frame grabber were needed, but because the frame grabber and camera manufacturers were from places...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Method of Bonding Optical Elements With Near-Zero Displacement

The International X-ray Project seeks to build an x-ray telescope using thousands of pieces of thin and flexible glass mirror segments. Each mirror segment must be bonded into a housing in nearly perfect optical alignment without distortion. Forces greater than 0.001 Newton, or...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Phase Recovery and Locking in a PPM Laser Communication Link

Free-space optical communication holds great promise for future space missions requiring high data rates. For data communication in deep space, the current architecture employs pulse position modulation (PPM). In this scheme, the light is transmitted and detected as pulses...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Reliable Optical Pump Architecture for Highly Coherent Lasers Used in Space Metrology Applications

The design and initial demonstration of a laser pump module (LPM) incorporating single-mode, grating-stabilized 808- nm diode lasers and a low-loss, high-port-count optical combiner are completed. The purpose of the developed LPM is to reliably...

Briefs : Physical Sciences
Method to Enhance the Operation of an Optical Inspection Instrument Using Spatial Light Modulators

For many aspheric and freeform optical components, existing interferometric solutions require a custom computer-generated hologram (CGH) to characterize the part. The overall objective of this research is to develop hardware and a procedure to...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
High-Speed Edge-Detecting Line Scan Smart Camera

A high-speed edge-detecting line scan smart camera was developed. The camera is designed to operate as a component in a NASA Glenn Research Center developed inlet shock detection system. The inlet shock is detected by projecting a laser sheet through the airflow. The shock within the airflow is...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Downsampling Photodetector Array With Windowing

In a photon counting detector array, each pixel in the array produces an electrical pulse when an incident photon on that pixel is detected. Detection and demodulation of an optical communication signal that modulated the intensity of the optical signal requires counting the number of photon...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Optical Communications Channel Combiner

NASA has identified deep-space optical communications links as an integral part of a unified space communication network in order to provide data rates in excess of 100 Mb/s. The distances and limited power inherent in a deep-space optical downlink necessitate the use of photon-counting detectors and a...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Development of Thermal Infrared Sensor To Supplement Operational Land Imager

The thermal infrared sensor (TIRS) is a quantum well infrared photodetector (QWIP)-based instrument intended to supplement the Operational Land Imager (OLI) for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). The TIRS instrument is a far-infrared imager operating in the...

Question of the Week
Will asteroid-mining missions pay off?

Last week, a space startup called Planetary Resources announced its plan for the future: asteroid mining. With diminishing resources on Earth, the company's founders believe that space offers the next logical frontier. They will use small satellites to scan near-Earth asteroids for rare materials, perhaps...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Infrared Laser Beam Evaluation Tool

The CoolCard™ II from Pathfinder Research (Lafayette, CO) is a handheld infrared laser beamfinder and beam evaluation instrument. The IR beam-quality evaluation tool can be used with lasers and other IR sources operating from the near-IR to 10-μm wavelengths. Using thermally- stabilized liquid crystal...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Glass Reflectron Lens Process

PHOTONIS USA (Sturbridge, MA) has been awarded a patent for the manufacture of resistive glass tubes with non-linear gradient electrical resistance changes. The patented process creates a solid-piece reflectron lens. Reflectron lenses are used in Timeof- Flight (TOF) mass spectrometers to create an electrostatic...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Fiber Laser

The Mentad fiber laser from RPMC Lasers (O’Fallon, MO) is now available at the 1.0μm wavelength. The 4.25 × 2.7 × 0.8" Mentad produces pulse energies up to 50μJ, with pulse widths from 500ps to 1.25μs and rep rates from 5kHz to 2MHz. The laser is also available at 1.5μm. At 1.5μm, the Mentad can produce up to 100μJ of pulse...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Infrared Emitters

Opto Diode Corp. (Newbury Park, CA) has introduced three new infrared (IR) emitters. The OD-850W gallium aluminum arsenide (GaAlAs) LED features a wide-emission angle and typical optical output of 40mW. The new device has a peak emission wavelength at 850nm.

Products : Photonics/Optics
UV Zoom Lens

Resolve Optics Ltd (Chesham, UK) supplies a lightweight version of the 80-200mm focal length UV Zoom lens, developed for use with its Digital Cerenkov Viewing Device (DCVD). The DCVD, equipped with UV Zoom lens, captures the Cerenkov image of spent nuclear fuel for analysis and comparison.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Embedded Vision System

ADLINK Technology (San Jose, CA) has released the EOS- 1200, an embedded vision system that implements the 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 quad core processor. The product provides four independent gigabit PoE (power over Ethernet) ports with data transfer rates up to 4.0 Gb/s. The EOS-1200 further supports IEEE 1588...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Cylindrical Lenses

Dayoptics (Fuzhou, China) produces cylindrical lenses from a variety of materials including BK7, fused silica, sapphire, CaF2, and MgF2 as standard. Cylindrical lenses focus light in only one dimension and are commonly used in range finders to produce astigmatism. Cylindrical lenses are also used in...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Camera Development Kit

D3 Engineering (Rochester, NY), New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY), and Sunex (Carlsbad, CA) have teamed up to create a new OEM SmartCamera Developer’s Kit. The kit allows engineers to develop and integrate camera systems.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Frame Grabber

BitFlow (Woburn, MA) has announced the Neon- CLQ Quad, a Camera Link/PoCL frame grabber that provides interfaces for four cameras plus I/O. All four cameras can be synchronized or independently operated with different resolutions, frame rates, and triggering modes.

Products : Photonics/Optics
Laser Measurement Mobile App

Ophir Photonics (North Logan, UT) offers the Quasar App, a mobile application that displays laser meter data on Android devices or tablets. The Quasar App connects to Ophir’s Quasar device via Bluetooth. Once connected, the App displays power readings from the laser measurement sensor within a range of 10...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Vacuum Spectrometer

The Model 248/310 grazing incidence spectrometer from McPherson (Chelmsford, MA) makes direct optical measurements from one to 300 nanometers. The device enables testing of soft x-ray (XUV) high energy light sources (plasma or laser) and samples. Life time, persistence, or decay can be measured with continuous spectral...

Products : Photonics/Optics
Light Source

The BluLoop Light Source from Ocean Optics (Dunedin, FL) is a compact, LED-based source with balanced spectral output across the visible (400-700 nm) range. When coupled to a miniature spectrometer, optical fibers, and sampling accessories, Blu- Loop can be used for color and reflectance measurements and general-purpose VIS-NIR...

News : Energy
Boosting Nanowires for Better Batteries and Solar Cells

Stanford University engineers have found a novel method for "decorating" nanowires with chains of tiny particles to increase their electrical and catalytic performance. The technique is simpler and faster than earlier methods and could lead to better lithium-ion batteries, more efficient...

Who's Who
Stephen Merkowitz, Project Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

NASA is helping to lead an international effort to upgrade the systems that supply crucial location information and earth science measurements. Stephen Merkowitz, the project manager of NASA's space geodesy initiative at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in...

Stephen Merkowitz, Project Manager, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Stephen Merkowitz: NASA currently offers a network of space geodetic ground stations that do Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), satellite laser ranging (SLR), and [global navigation satellite system] GNSS or GPS tracking. The new space geodesy...

News : Lighting
Conquering LED Efficiency Droop Could Lead to Affordable LED Lighting

University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)

LEDs seem to reach a point where more electricity no longer imparts the same kick and productivity levels off. A team of researchers from California and Japan has devised a new design for green and blue LEDs that avoids...

News : Lighting
Nanocrystal LEDs Produce Light in the Ultraviolet Range

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM

A multinational team of scientists has developed a process for creating glass-based, inorganic LEDs that produce light in the ultraviolet range. The work is a step toward biomedical devices with active components made from...

Articles : Lighting
LED Backlighting From the Sidelines to Center Stage in Under 30 Years

Though often drowned out by the excitement generated by general illumination LEDs, LED backlighting technology has evolved dramatically over the past 30 years. Continued advances in design and performance have allowed each new generation of LED backlighting technology to...

Articles : Lighting
Using IC Sockets in an LED Test System

For more than half a century, the semiconductor industry has been governed by a commonly known principle described as Moore’s Law. This “law” predicts that through technological advancement a doubling of the number of transistors per integrated circuit will occur within a given geometric area on...

Articles : Lighting
LED Light Engine Standardization

After Nick Holonyak invented the practical visible LED in 1962, the first commercial products were limited in brightness and only to applications such as red indicator lights and seven segment displays. In the 1970’s, yellow and green LEDs joined the family and were designed into products such as calculators,...

Briefs : Lighting
Full-Scale, Self-Emissive, Blue and Green Microdisplays Based on Micro-LED Arrays

These displays could play crucial roles in ultra-portable products such as next-generation pico-projectors and in emerging fields such as biophotonics and optogenetics.

Texas Tech University and III-N Technology, Inc., Lubbock, TX,
Briefs : Lighting
Controlling the Composition and Structure of Nanowires for LED Applications

Nanowires — microscopic fibers that can be “grown” in a lab — have a variety of potential applications, including LEDs and sensors. A team of MIT researchers has found a way of precisely controlling the width and composition of these tiny strands as they grow,...

Application Briefs : Lighting
Design Studio Creates Pods and Microphone for Rock Tour
Stratasys, Inc. Eden Prairie, MN

In April 2009, Tommy Voeten, President of the New York City-based 1212-Studio, was asked to help illuminate the fabric roof of the stages for rock band U2's upcoming international 360 Tour. The roof would become part of the band’s LED video...

Products : Lighting Technology
Integrated Buck Regulators

The SMB206A and SMB210A programmable DC-DC integrated circuits from Summit Microelectronics (Sunnyvale, CA) are dual/single-output integrated buck regulators. With a serial digital interface and onboard non-volatile memory, the SMB20X family can be configured during development and reprogrammed in system by host...

Products : Lighting
Hands-Free Light Source

The Spectroline® EK-3000 EagleEye™ UV-A/White Light LED Inspection Kit (patents pending) from Spectronics Corp. (Westbury, NY) features the palm-sized, cool-running EagleEye inspection lamp. The kit is engineered with two ultra-high intensity UV-A (365nm) LEDs, plus a three- LED white light assembly for general...

Products : Lighting
Mask Alignment System

EV Group (St. Florian, Austria) has announced the EVG620HBL Gen II, the second-generation, automated mask alignment system for volume manufacturing of high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB-LEDs).

Products : Lighting
Digital LED Controller

Featuring digital TruDim™ technology, the CS161X controller from Cirrus Logic (Austin, TX) has been tested to provide compatibility with an array of dimmers. The CS161X’s digital intelligence allows the controller to identify the type of dimmer in use, and adapt its compatibility algorithm accordingly. The CS161X...

Products : Lighting
Programmable Dimmable Drivers

Designed with a programmable function, the CLSD Series of programmable LED drivers from NMB Technologies Corporation (Chatsworth, CA) features a 10W to 20W power rating, and a 0 to 10W voltage dimming function. Using a few models, the programming function sets a range of output current.


On-Demand Webinars: Medical

Ethylene Oxide Sterilization: The Future State

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From Drudgery to the Effective Use of Design and Process FMEAs

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Heavy-Duty Engine Design for a Transitioning Market

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

High-Powered Directed Energy Laser Projects: Destroy the Target,...

Upcoming Webinars: Photonics/Optics

Optical Coating Design

Upcoming Webinars: Manufacturing & Prototyping

Rapid Decompression and Sealed Containers: Why Choose Magnet...